Banana Panel Nesting Cubes from Rwanda

by: Azizi Life

Category: Baskets, Storage

Hand-Woven from Natural Banana Leaf

These handcrafted boxes are a wonderful way to stay organized and hold your belongings beautifully, in fair trade style. Lightweight and versatile, these cubes are crafted with an overlay of woven banana leaves, and lined with cotton fabric. Created to nest within each other, the Banana Panel Cubes can be purchased individually, or as a set (for a discount!). The nesting set makes a beautiful wedding gift. The large size cube is designed to fit into all your modular storage shelves. We love these cubes in the baby’s nursery, for holding diapers, onesies, little socks…. To create these boxes, artisans begin with dried leaves from their banana trees. They remove the surface of the leaf, divide it into strips, then weave the chevron design. The black color leaf is from a special kind of banana tree. The box’s lining is sewn on a pedal-powered sewing machine. You could go to your local mall and pick up something similar, but then you'd never know who's life you changed through your purchase. Pick up your fair trade nesting cube and change a life in Rwanda today!

The Story Behind the Product: The Twivanemubukene Cooperative

The Twivanemubukene Cooperative began in April 2007 with 15 members. These women – neighbors and members of the same parish – chose to come together in order to fight poverty and to share skills in handicrafts. Many group members are widows who had been struggling to care for their families. They are united by their faith and determination, looking past differences of age or ethnic group. Today, the women of Twivanembukene specialize in making photo frames and placemats from banana leaf and palm leaf. They also craft Banana Panel Cubes. The majority of the crafting work is done by each member in her home. But every Monday and Friday afternoon, the cooperative gathers to work together, practicing their skills and, most importantly, encouraging, teaching and coaching one another. They discuss issues such as family planning and they sing and pray together. Each week the members make a small contribution to the group, which is used to benefit the members. They have also been able to purchase solar lamps and stoves that use less firewood through an Azizi Life (a partner organization of Jesus' Economy) microcredit plan.

Product Details

Dimensions and Qualities
  • Cubes are hand-woven from natural banana leaves and stalks
  • Features chevron weave design from naturally tan and black banana leaves, and a hand-sewn cotton lining
  • Has open hand-holds for easy carry
  • Dimensions: Large 12" x 12" x 12"; Medium 10" x 10" x 10"; Small 8" x 8" x 8"
  • Care: wipe with damp cloth. Dry in sunshine. 
Origins and Guarantee
  • Made in Rwanda
  • Created by artisans via Azizi Life
  • Ships from the U.S.
  • 100% money back guarantee, for up to 90 days

Fair Trade Product Features

Made from all locally-sourced natural banana leaf.

Supports a group of women who are changing their life outcome through their work.

Creates opportunity for female empowerment in Rwanda.

Allows dignity to return in the lives of those who were previously unable to provide for their families.

Supports jobs in extremely impoverished regions of Rwanda. 

Part of the Jesus' Economy shopping model, benefiting developing world communities.

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